Rahul Sharma (Editor)

HeartBeat (1988 TV series)

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Medical drama

Kate Mulgrew

No. of episodes

Created by
Sara Davidson

No. of seasons

HeartBeat (1988 TV series)

Executive producer(s)
Esther Shapiro Richard Shapiro Aaron Spelling

HeartBeat is an American television series in the medical drama genre. The series aired for two seasons on ABC from March 1988 to April 1989.



The series follows the staff of Women's Medical Arts, a medical center founded by three women who are frustrated with how women's health concerns are addressed in the male-dominated medical field. The fictional WMA is based on the Santa Monica Women's Clinic and that clinic's founder, Dr. Karen Blanchard, served as a model for the character played by Kate Mulgrew. HeartBeat is the first American television series to include a lesbian as a lead character, nurse practitioner and founding partner Marilyn McGrath (Gail Strickland).

HeartBeat first aired on Wednesdays at 10:00 Eastern, then was moved to Thursdays at 10:00 for its second season. This put it up against L.A. Law, at the time one of the most popular series on the air. HeartBeat did not perform well in the Nielsen ratings and was canceled at the end of its second season.


  • Kate Mulgrew — Dr. Joanne Springsteen/Halloran (the character's name was changed from Springsteen to Halloran in season 2 with no explanation)
  • Laura Johnson — Dr. Eve Autrey/Calvert (the character's name was changed from Autrey to Calvert in season 2 with no explanation)
  • Gail Strickland — Marilyn McGrath
  • Lynn Whitfield — Dr. Cory Banks
  • Ben Masters — Dr. Leo Rosetti
  • Darrell Larson — Dr. Paul Jared
  • Cultural criticism

    The feminist content and context of HeartBeat have been studied by feminist cultural critics.

    HeartBeat is lauded by LGBT television historians for its inclusion of Marilyn and her partner Patty (Gina Hecht) with their lesbianism being a non-issue. However, ABC received criticism because unlike the heterosexual characters, Marilyn and Patty were not permitted to be sexual or physically affectionate with each other, or even touch.


    HeartBeat (1988 TV series) Wikipedia

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